Fear the Walking Dead, S1 Ep3 – The Dog

 

The stakes are getting higher as more zombies attack people, the city is in chaos, and the military steps in to take charge of an already messy situation. Once again, the story has made significant progress from the events of the previous episode. Travis and company (the Salazars joining the merry band of survivors) reunite with Madison and her kids, and they have tense discussions on how to proceed given the current state of panic and horror.

The city goes dark.

The city goes dark.

Fear the Walking Dead continues to have an engagingly eerie atmosphere, upping the tension and terror even without using hordes of starving walkers. There have only been a handful of walkers so far on the show, but we can still be on the edge of our seats because of the simple but effective way the episode is shot. Shadowy angles and an effective musical score contribute to the overall feeling of fear and desperation. A particularly moving shot in this episode was the lights going out in the city, civilization literally and figuratively plunging into darkness.

It's a Zombie-Eat-Dog world

It’s a Zombie-Eat-Dog world

And with the threat of the undead becoming a bit clearer to our main characters, we keep seeing how their mindsets are evolving to adapt to the new and terrible circumstances. Travis is turning out to be a typical hero type, trying to act as humanely as possible and preventing Madison from mercy-killing their zombie neighbor. Noble as his intentions are, Travis might need to make some major adjustments to his way of dealing with this new crisis if he wants to survive and protect his family.

Someone's planned for the future.

Someone’s planned for the future.

His attitude can be contrasted with Madison’s, who is even more fiercely protective of her loved ones and is forward-thinking enough to ask Travis’ ex-wife to take care of her should she ever turn into a walker. That’s some impressive long-term planning, right there. She has been proactively re-evaluating her priorities since the chaos started, and she has proven that she is not afraid to become harder and colder if it means protecting those she loves. Though her trying to stop her neighbor from touching his zombie wife shows that she still has some moments of compassion.

Just me, casually trying to break into the neighbor's house to get some drugs.

Just me, casually trying to break into the neighbor’s house to get some drugs.

Alicia is finally beginning to understand what has been plaguing the city, and immediately realizes that her boyfriend’s sudden illness may lead to tragic consequences. Her brother Nick, though still a bit of a junkie, is shaping up to be a capable person, taking charge of the situation, and even suggesting (correctly) that Alicia be told more about the zombies.

We were also able to see more of the Salazars this episode, and while we still don’t know much about the mother and daughter, we have definitely seen some of Daniel Salazar’s useful skills. He didn’t even hesitate before shooting the zombie neighbor, and he started showing Chris how to properly handle a shotgun. This man is clearly not to be trifled with. I’m not sure he completely understands what is going on, but he knows enough to take measures to protect his family. While his decision not to join Travis’ group may not be the best option, he had good reasons.

Wanna bet?

Wanna bet?

“Good people are those who die first,” Salazar says ominously. And he’s not wrong. It’s a cynical, overly pragmatic worldview, but exactly the kind of mindset that will help him and his family survive a zombie apocalypse.

The arrival of the military is an interesting development. How much do they know about the zombie virus and how it spreads? How did they know about Madison’s neighbors being infected? What are their plans to try and contain or stop it from affecting more people?

Anyone who watches the main show knows that no one is able to stop the walkers from propagating. But it will still be interesting to see the initial measures taken to deal with the growing crisis.

NOTE: I apologize for the delay in posting this recap. I was unable to watch the episode until late last week. But I will be posting my recap for Episode 4 within the next couple of days.